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Collection Number: 01309

Collection Title: Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 (bulk 1920-1940).

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 300 items)
Abstract Samuel Davis McReynolds (1872-1939) was a criminal judge for the 6th judicial district, Tennessee, 1903-1923; and United States representative from Tennessee, 1923-1939. The collection includes scattered correspondence, mostly from the 1920s and 1930s, including brief letters from Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull, and Sam Rayburn; handwritten and typed versions of speeches by McReynolds; about sixty photographs and drawings, some of prominent early twentieth-century Democrats; five scrapbooks; a diary kept by McReynolds on a Far Eastern cruise in 1925; and miscellaneous other material relating to McReynolds's career as a judge and as a member of Congress. Topics of other correspondence include the 1925 cruise to the Far East, the London Economic Conference in 1933, the establishment of the commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935, and the illness and death of McReynolds.
Creator McReynolds, Samuel Davis, 1872-1939.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, #1309, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. Samuel Davis McReynolds of Washington, D.C., June 1947.
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1a.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Samuel Davis McReynolds (1872-1939) was a criminal judge for the 6th judicial district, Tennessee, 1903-1923; and United States representative from Tennessee, 1923-1939. McReynolds was born in Pikeville, Tenn., to Isaac Stephens McReynolds and Virginia Adeline Davis McReynolds. He attended People's College in Pikeville and Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn. He studied law for a year with James B. Frazier of Chattanooga, Tenn., later governor and United States senator.

In 1893, McReynolds practiced law in Pikeville, Tenn., soon becoming assistant district attorney of the old 6th judicial circuit. In 1895, he moved to Chattanooga, Tenn., where he formed a partnership with Judge John H. Cantrell. In 1903, McReynolds's former mentor, James B. Frazier, appointed him judge of the recently established criminal court of the 6th judicial circuit.

McReynolds served as a United States representative from Tennessee, 1923-1939. During his tenure, he served on the Immigration and Naturalization Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee. He was a delegate to the International Monetary and Economic Conference held in London, England, 1933. He also was instrumental in passing the Johnson Debt Default Act, by which the American money market was closed to the securities of nations in default on their debts to the United States or her citizens.

McReynolds's most significant work was that of administation spokesman in the House during the debates over neutrality legislation, 1935-1937. He advocated that a maximum of discretion should be left to the president in any such law. In the 1937 Neutrality Act, McReynolds was largely credited with retaining, over Senate objection, a provision giving the president power to decide whether of not to invoke "cash and carry" requirements on exports of other than war goods to belligerents.

McReynolds was married twice: in 1905 to Jennie Hutchins of Wincester, Tenn., who died in 1908; and in 1910 to Mary Caldwell Davenport, daughter of R. B. Davenport, a wholesale dry goods merchant of Chattanooga, Tenn. By his second marriage he had a daughter, Margaret Henriette.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes scattered correspondence, mostly from the 1920s and 1930s, including brief letters from Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull, and Sam Rayburn; handwritten and typed versions of speeches by McReynolds; about sixty photographs and drawings, some of prominent early twentieth-century Democrats; five scrapbooks; a diary kept by McReynolds on a Far Eastern cruise in 1925; and miscellaneous other material relating to McReynolds's career as a judge and as a member of Congress. Topics of other correspondence include the 1925 cruise to the Far East, the London Economic Conference in 1933, the establishment of the commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935, and the illness and death of McReynolds. Speeches deal with various issues with which McReynolds was concerned, especially problems of foreign policy.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated.

Folder 1a

Original finding aid #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 1a

Folder 1

1891, 1893, 1918, and 1921 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

1925 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

1928 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

1933 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

1935 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

1936-1937 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 6

Folder 7

1938-1940 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 7

Folder 8

Undated speeches #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

Invitations #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10

Invitations #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

Clippings #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

Clippings #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

Clippings #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

Clippings #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15

Clippings #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 15

Folder 16

#01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 16

See Oversize Volume SV-1309/1

Oversize Volume SV-1309/1

Volume 1: Scrapbook, 1903-1907 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." SV-1309/1

Clippings concern Samuel Davis McReynolds's judicial activities.

Folder 17

Volume 2: Passport, Samuel Davis McReynolds #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 17

Folder 18

Volume 3: Travel diary, Samuel Davis McReynolds, 1925 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 18

Includes accounts of Samuel Davis McReynold's travels in East Asia.

Folder 19

Volume 4: Autograph album #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 19

Folder 20

#01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." Folder 20

See Oversize Volumes SV-1309/5-9

Oversize Volume SV-1309/5

Volume 5: Scrapbook, 1923-1933 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." SV-1309/5

Contents concern Samuel Davis McReynolds's political activities, and state and national affairs.

Oversize Volume SV-1309/6

Volume 6: Scrapbook, 1933-1938 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." SV-1309/6

Contents concern Samuel Davis McReynolds's political activities, and state and national affairs.

Oversize Volume SV-1309/7

Volume 7: Scrapbook, 1933 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." SV-1309/7

Contents concern the International Monetary and Economic Conference, London, England, June-July 1933.

Oversize Volume SV-1309/8

Volume 8: Scrapbook, 1939 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." SV-1309/8

Contents concern the state visit of King George IV and Queen Elizabeth of England, June 1939.

Oversize Volume SV-1309/9

Volume 9: Scrapbook, 1939 #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." SV-1309/9

Contents concern the death of Samuel Davis McReynolds.

Image Folder PF-1309/1-3

PF-1309/1

PF-1309/2

PF-1309/3

Photographs #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." PF-1309/1-3

Includes photographs, principally from the 1930s, of Samuel Davis McReynolds and other politically prominent individuals; and 14 drawings, some prints, and some apparently original, of international political figures by S. Nagy.

Extra Oversize Paper Folder X-OPF-1309/1

Certificates and appointments #01309, Series: "Samuel Davis McReynolds Papers, 1891-1940 and undated." X-OPF-1309/1

Includes Samuel Davis McReynold's law license and other certificates and appointments.

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, August 2010

This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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